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Out in force

Gercine Carter

Out in force

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Barbados Labour Party (BLP) supporters carried a banner reading Owen We All Love You And Need You and when their “king’s” vehicle came into view yesterday they went into a frenzy sending up an almost deafening roar outside the Parliament buildings.
Day 2 of the 2012 Budget debate was clearly the Barbados Labour Party’s day, as the scores of red-clad party members descended on the streets skirting the Parliament Building.
They were most vocal in their support for the party throughout the period leading up to the start of the debate until Clerk of Parliament Pedro Eastmond eventually approached and requested some quiet after the proceedings in the House had begun.
Acknowledgement of the sea of red was spontaneous as the Opposition Leader walked into the frenzied crowd and was immediately mobbed.
While most members of the ruling Democratic Labour Party government made their way to the House of Assembly without fanfare, with just a few like Minister of Health Donville Inniss and Minister of Agriculture Dr David Estwick getting some acknowlegement from the clearly partisan crowd, all the BLP parliamentarians were showered with hugs, kisses and words of encouragement one after the other as they arrived.
Rosetta Bishop-Reece blew her horn repeatedly and waved the large red velvet banner she made for the occasion. Standing on the sidelines, Abeda Adam in red abaya and head scarf restated her support for the BLP.
Walking back to the Parliament Buildings after receiving a warm reception from the crowd, St James North MP Rawle Eastmond paused to tell the Daily Nation he was tired with political life, which he said  had taken a toll on him.
Eastmond said he had found house to house electioneering “extremely challenging”, and had grown tired of a political a system where people expected so much from their representative that the “typical parliamentarian gets no rest”.
“I am done with electoral politics, I won’t be contesting elections but I am available to serve,” Eastmond said, adding that he would be campaigning “islandwide”  and especially for the candidate nominated to replace him in the St James North constituency.
Meanwhile, three-year-old Destiny McKenzie waited patiently in the Parliament Buildings yard clutching her crystal bell and wearing a red T-shirt with the words “Ring That?Bell, the Freedom Bell” emblazoned across the front. She could hardly wait to present her bell to Arthur.
Arthur immediately swept her into his arms as he walked towards the Opposition offices in the West Wing where several members of previous BLP governments, former BLP senators and others waited, many of them part of the display of the red parade.
St Thomas MP Cynthia Forde was her usual fashionable self in a red suit. St Michael North East representative Mia Mottley, who was accompanied by her mother Amor, wore a red camisole with a tailored grey suit.
At 3:50 p.m. Arthur led a large contingent of Opposition members of Parliament and former BLP?parliamentarians across the yard and up the steps of Parliament for the beginning of the debate which started promptly at 4 p.m.